Shahidul Alam (b. 1955 in Dhaka, Bangladesh) – “Time Magazine Person of the Year 2018” and “National Geographic Explorer at Large” – is a photojournalist, writer and human rights activist. With a strong commitment to photography, he founded the Drik Picture Library in 1989, the Pathshala South Asian Media Institute in Dhaka in 1998, “which has trained hundreds of photographers”, and the Chobi Mela International Photography Festival in 1999. He also disseminates his work through well-received publications – his most recent book, “The Tide Will Turn”, for example, was included in the New York Time’s list of “Best Art Books of 2020”. Due to his social activism and criticism against the government in Bangladesh, Alam was imprisoned for several months in 2018. During this time, he founded an artistically active group among the imprisoned. He continues to live and work in Bangladesh at the institutions he founded – Drik Picture Library and Pathshala South Asian Media Institute.
In his contribution to “printing futures”, Shahidul Alam will sift through images from his archive that have not been considered for publication since they were taken or have “fallen through the cracks” and reassess them from today’s perspective, examining the changing value of a photographic image over time based on historicity, relevance and changes in political and artistic perspective. Using scanned contact sheets, groups of images or individual images and texts, Alam will interact with visitors* to select images and create a book. A book based on Alam’s extensive analogue archives created over a period of more than two decades.
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